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Original research article
Atrial fibrillation type and renal dysfunction as important predictors of left atrial thrombus
  1. Agnieszka Kapłon-Cieślicka1,
  2. Monika Budnik1,
  3. Monika Gawałko1,
  4. Michał Peller1,
  5. Iwona Gorczyca2,
  6. Anna Michalska2,
  7. Aldona Babiarz1,
  8. Aleksandra Bodys1,
  9. Robert Uliński1,
  10. Maciej Żochowski1,
  11. Piotr Scisło1,
  12. Janusz Kochanowski1,
  13. Krzysztof J Filipiak1,
  14. Grzegorz Opolski1
  1. 1 1st Chair and Department of Cardiology, Medical University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland
  2. 2 1st Department of Cardiology and Electrotherapy, Świętokrzyskie Cardiology Centre, Kielce, Poland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Monika Gawałko; mongawalko{at}


Objective We aimed to identify predictors of left atrial appendage (LAA) thrombus in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) and to enhance the prognostic value of the CHA2DS2-VASc score.

Methods Derivation cohort included 1033 consecutive AF patients referred for catheter ablation or direct current cardioversion, in whom transoesophageal echocardiography (TOE) was performed prior to the procedure. Logistic regression analysis was used to identify predictors of LAA thrombus on TOE. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were constructed to compare the newly developed score with the CHA2DS2 and CHA2DS2-VASc scores in the derivation and the validation (n=320) cohort.

Results On TOE, LAA thrombus was present in 59 (5.7%) patients in the derivation cohort. Aside from variables encompassed by the CHA2DS2-VASc score, LAA thrombus predictors included AF type (persistent/’permanent’ vs paroxysmal) and renal dysfunction. These predictors were incorporated into the CHA2DS2-VASc score. In ROC analysis, area under the curve (AUC) for the new score (CHA2DS2-VASc-RAF score) was significantly higher (0.81) than those for the CHA2DS2 and CHA2DS2-VASc scores (0.71 and 0.70, respectively). In the validation cohort, the CHA2DS2-VASc-RAF score also performed significantly better (AUC of 0.88) than the CHA2DS2 and CHA2DS2-VASc scores (AUC of 0.63 and 0.60, respectively).

Conclusion In real-world AF patients with majority on oral anticoagulation, LAA thrombus was found in approximately 6%. Two variables not included in the CHA2DS2-VASc score (AF type and renal dysfunction) proved strong, independent predictors of LAA thrombus and might improve thromboembolic risk stratification.

  • atrial fibrillation
  • cardiac risk factors and prevention
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  • Contributors AK-C and MB were responsible for the concept and design of the study. MG, IG, AM, ABa, ABo, RU and MZ were involved in data collection. AK-C, MB, PS and JK performed echocardiographic evaluation. MP performed statistical calculations. AK-C and MP conducted data analysis and interpretation. AK-C and MG wrote the manuscript. All authors revised the manuscript and approved its final version.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

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